Earlier this week at a Flywheel class in South Florida, I was filling up an embarrassingly small plastic bottle. Imagine my surprise when an older gentleman told me "put that tiny thing down" and handed me a large fresh bottle of water he had purchased for me. I was so taken aback by his gesture that I had a killer workout; I knew that there was a fellow rider in my class — a complete stranger — who wasn't afraid to give and was not expecting anything in return. After this experience, I've decided to pay it forward throughout the holidays.
Being the recipient of one of these random acts is great, but it's the giving that feels truly amazing. Throughout the holidays and beyond, see if you can sneak a few of these random acts of fitness kindness in your own life.
- Gift a pair: How many times have you seen someone in class in need of socks? Keep a spare on hand to make their workout more comfortable.
- Let someone step ahead: That person who is huffing and puffing behind you to get water? Let them cut you in line. They need it.
- Hand off a hair tie: I always have a minimum of three on my wrist, and there's no better feeling than being able to hand one off to someone in need.
- Pay for a person's class: 'Tis the season! Anonymously gift a boutique class to the next person in line or to a friend who's strapped for cash. This small act of charity can totally turn around someone's day.
- Go in for a high five: Someone just crushed it on the treadmill or in Zumba? Throw up your hand for a quick high five as you pass by, no words necessary.
- Help your neighbor get settled: Whether it's helping set up their equipment or letting them know what to grab, give up your insider tips. Confused newbies appreciate any advice you offer.
- Share the weight: If those five-pounders are high in demand during class, offer to share yours with the person next to you. You'll both get the workout you're looking for and help push each other along.
- Grab extra equipment: Something as simple as passing back an extra resistance band, towel, or set of weights is a gesture that won't go unnoticed or unappreciated. You can also help put away the equipment of the person behind you in line after class.
- Help a fellow hiker: Whether it's a short ride from the end of a trail back to camp, a sip from your water, or a necessity in your first aid kit, don't hesitate to ask if you can help.
- Move your mat: Don't make someone ask. If you see someone struggling to find a spot in yoga, offer to make room and alleviate their anxiety.
- Simply smile: Who knows? That smile might even inspire them to kick up the speed on their machine or tack on extra reps.